"We'll hope," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We'll see what kind of roster we can [tee up]."
That was one of a few injury-related updates from Tampa Bay during Wednesday's media session after the Lightning's 7-3 blowout win over Toronto in Game 1 the night before. Forward Tanner Jeannot is also a possibility to rejoin the lineup for Game 2, but defenseman Erik Cernak and forward Michael Eyssimont have been ruled out.
Hedman exited Tuesday's opener after the first period with an undisclosed issue, leaving Tampa Bay down one top-pairing defenseman. Cooper said afterward that Hedman's ailment was "a little bit surprising" but that the Lightning were "hoping he should be OK."
Cernak was helped off in the second period Tuesday after taking an elbow to the head from Leafs' forward Michael Bunting. The veteran stayed down on the ice for several minutes before trainers took him back to the room. Bunting was subsequently assessed a match penalty for an illegal check to the head. He was suspended three games by the NHL's Player Safety Department on Wednesday.
The Lightning were forced into a four-man rotation on the back end -- one that included rookie Darren Raddysh in his postseason debut -- for nearly 25 minutes of Game 1 once Hedman and Cernak were gone. Cooper recalled on Wednesday how Tampa Bay had survived with four defenders in previous years and was encouraged by his group handling that adversity.
"It's tough, especially playing a team like the Leafs," Cooper said. "But everybody kept it simple. I thought our forwards did a heck of a job helping them out. It helped that we had a lead; it was way better than [if] the game was tied. They did a heck of a job."
Eyssimont also went out of Game 1, off a rattling hit from Toronto defenseman Jake McCabe. Tampa Bay has potential forward reinforcement coming in the form of Jeannot, though. The Lightning acquired Jeannot from the Nashville Predators ahead of March's trade deadline; he appeared in 20 regular-season games before suffering a right leg injury against the New York Islanders earlier this month.
Initially, Tampa Bay thought Jeannot could be weeks out from a return, but he was recently upgraded to day-to-day. The winger said Wednesday that he was "feeling good," with an eye on playing in Game 2.
"There's a great training staff, and we're working hard at getting back as quick as possible," Jeannot said . "That's what we're always trying to do. All I could do is everything I could do to get back as quickly as I could, and that's what I did. We'll see about tomorrow."
Forward Ian Cole, who was absent from Tampa Bay's practice Wednesday along with Hedman, Cernak and Eyssimont, is expected to be available for Game 2.